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Egypt
23.09.19
Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance of Ms. Mahienour El-Massry

EGY 003 / 0919 / OBS074

Arbitrary arrest /
Enforced disappearance/
Judicial harassment

Egypt

September 23, 2019

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in thefollowing situation in Egypt.

Description of thesituation:

The Observatory hasbeen informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary arrest and enforceddisappearance of Ms. Mahienour El-Massry, human rights lawyer known forher activism in favour of judicial independence and prisoners’ rights byorganising peaceful protests, support activities for political prisoners andusing social media to denounce human rights violations.

According to theinformation received, in the afternoon of September 22, 2019, three plain-clothes policeofficers arrested Ms. Mahienour El-Massry outside of the Supreme State SecurityProsecution headquarters in Cairo’s Fifth Settlement neighborhood, and put herinto a microbus. Since then, her place of detention has remained unknown,although lawyers reported seeing her taken in the National Security buildingfor questioning.

Ms. Mahienour El-Massry was presentas a lawyer at the Supreme State Security Prosecution office to follow up onthe investigations of several of her clients, arrested during rareprotests that occurred across the country on September 20 and 21, 2019,calling on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to resign. Hundreds of protesters-including minors- have been detained by the Egyptian authorities during thosedemonstrations, in addition to journalists, lawyers, and members of oppositionpolitical parties, in which constitues a new wave of repression of civil society.

The Observatory expresses its utmostconcerns over the arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance of Ms. MahienourEl-Massry and urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately disclose herwhereabouts and allow her full access to her lawyer and family.

The Observatory recalls that Ms. MahienourEl-Massry has already been tried and jailed twice for taking part inanti-government protests: the first time in January 2014 over charges of“protest without a permit” and “assaulting security forces”[1], and a second in December2017[2] on charges related toprotests held against the Tiran and Sanafeer land agreement in June 2016[3], which had resulted in thearrest of 60 activists throughout the country[4]. She received the LudovicTrarieux Award, an international prize given annually to a lawyer for hiscontributions to human rights, while in prison in 2014.

The Observatory further urges the Egyptianauthorities to release Ms. Mahienour El-Massry immediately and unconditionallyand to put an end to all forms of harassment against her, including at thejudicial level, as well as against all the human rights defenders in Egypt.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Egypt,urging them to:

i. Guaranteethe physical integrity and psychological well-being of Ms. Mahienour El-Massry, in all circumstances, as well as that of all human rights defenders inEgypt;


ii. Immediately disclose Ms. Mahienour El-Massry’splace of detention and release her immediately and unconditionally: herdetention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing her for herhuman rights activities;

iii. Guarantee the unhindered access of Ms. MahienourEl-Massry to a lawyer of her choice and her family members;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment,including at the judicial level, against Ms. Mahienour El-Massry, as well as of all human rights defendersin Egypt and ensure that they are able tocarry out their activities without hindrance;


v. Conform in allcircumstances to the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, inparticular its Articles 1 and 12.2.;

vi. Ensurein all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with international human rights instruments ratified by Egypt.

Addresses:

· Presidentof the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 2391 1441. Email: p.spokesman@op.gov.eg, Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial

· PrimeMinister, Mr. Mustafa Kemal Madbouly Mohamed. Email:pm@cabinet.gov.eg

· Minister ofthe Interior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfik, Email: center@iscmi.gov.eg

· Minister ofJustice, Mr. Mohamed Hossam Abdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103

· PublicProsecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716

· Head of theEgyptian parliament’s Human Rights Committee, Mr. Alaa Abed, Email: humanrightscomplaints@parliament.gov.eg

· Mr. MohamedFayeq, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497/ 25747670. Email: nchr@nchr.org.eg

· H.E.Mr. Alaa Youssef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UnitedNations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email: mission.egypt@bluewin.ch

· Embassy ofEgypt in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email: embassy.egypt@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomaticmissions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country.

***

Paris-Geneva, September23, 2019

Kindly inform us of anyaction undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 byFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of thisprogramme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression againsthuman rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European UnionHuman Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

[1]See the Observatory’s Urgent Appeal EGY 001/ 0514 / OBS 045, published on May 22, 2014.

[2]See the Observatory’s Urgent Appeal EGY 006/ 1217 / OBS 120.1, published on January 10, 2018.

[3]The Egyptian House of Representatives voted onJune 14, 2017, to ratify a maritime agreement that would place the islands ofTiran and Sanafeer under Saudi control. In the wake of the Parliament’sdecision, protests erupted throughout several governorates of the country. OnJune 20, 2017, Egypt’s highest constitutional court ruled against the transferagreement.

[4]See the Observatory’s Urgent Appeals EGY 001 /0617 / OBS 066 published on June 20, 2017 and EGY 002 / 0617 / OBS 070published on June 26, 2017. @font-face { font-family: Wingdings;}@font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}@font-face { font-family: "MS Gothic";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Mincho";}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Gothic";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }h1 { margin: 24pt 0cm 0.0001pt 21.6pt; text-indent: -21.6pt; break-after: avoid; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); font-weight: normal; }p.MsoFootnoteText, li.MsoFootnoteText, div.MsoFootnoteText { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoHeader, li.MsoHeader, div.MsoHeader { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoFooter, li.MsoFooter, div.MsoFooter { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoNoSpacing, li.MsoNoSpacing, div.MsoNoSpacing { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraph, li.MsoListParagraph, div.MsoListParagraph { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.Titre1Car { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.InternetLink { }span.ww-lieninternet { }span.PieddepageCar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.Ancredenotedebasdepage { vertical-align: super; }span.NotedebasdepageCar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.LienInternet { color: blue; text-decoration: underline; }span.ListLabel21 { font-family: "Arial", sans-serif; color: black; text-decoration: underline; }span.Caractresdenotedebasdepage { }span.Accentuationforte { font-weight: bold; }span.PieddepageCar1 { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.En-tteCar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.NotedebasdepageCar1 { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.FrameContents, li.FrameContents, div.FrameContents { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Calibri", sans-serif; }div.WordSection1 { }ol { margin-bottom: 0cm; }ul { margin-bottom: 0cm; }

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